Charles Barkley tells how he got VIP tickets to the Stanley Cup Final

Charles Barkley has friends in high places.

Barkley was in attendance for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The Turner Sports analyst actually joined ESPN for his coverage during the game’s first intermission.

Along with being funny as usual, Barkley provided a little hockey analysis. The 59-year-old, who is a well-known hockey fan, also explained how he got tickets for the game.

Barkley said he called NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to request tickets. Barkley said he wanted to watch his game against the Lightning because he’s friends with their coach, Jon Cooper.

“They kicked ass really well,” Barkley said of the Lightning. “(Game) 1 was a great game, (Game) 2 was awful. I was sitting around the house today and called the commissioner and said, ‘hey, can I have two tickets tonight ?’ He says, ‘are you coming down?’ I said ‘if you get me two tickets, I’m going down.’

Sure enough, Barkley was present.

ESPN host Steve Levy seemed surprised that Barkley could just call Bettman whenever he wanted.

“I have his cell phone. You don’t have it, do you? Barkley retorted.

This is exactly why some teams keep a few extra tickets on hand. You never know when a VIP is going to call last minute and ask for tickets to a big game.